Mexico sees surge of African migrants hoping to reach US


The number of African migrants who arrived in Mexico last year was nine times higher than the year before, according to official statistics.

Figures released by Mexico’s Interior Department at the weekend show that almost 60,000 migrants arrived from Africa in 2023 – a huge jump from the previous year when 6,500 made the journey.

Dana Graber Ladek, head of mission at the UN’s International Organisation of Migration in Mexico, told the BBC’s Newsday programme that most of these migrants come from Guinea, Angola, Mauritania, Senegal, Nigeria and Cameroon.

She said: “People leave their countries for many different reasons and it tends to be complex, anything from generalised violence to extreme poverty to political upheaval – and of course there’s also the effect of climate change and natrual disasters.”

“The grand majority” of African migrants that arrived in Mexico in 2023 do not wish to build lives there and are looking to cross the border into the United States, Ms Graber Ladek said.

She added that many migrants pay smugglers to facilate their journey to Mexico, and the trip can cost from around $10,000 to $20,000.


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